Thomas Partey in line to make first Arsenal start against Rapid Wien as Ghanaian travels to Austria

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal talks to Thomas Partey of Arsenal before making his debut during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Wasted opportunity?

Thomas Partey’s arrival at Arsenal was met with the classic furore of excitement – An athletic and dynamic midfielder designed to provide intelligent input and physical advantage.

Yet, against Manchester City last weekend, the Ghanaian was only afforded a cameo in a losing effort. With just a solitary training session at the club under his belt, Mikel Arteta thought it too soon to include his new signing from the off.

Partey’s playing style looks set to enable Arsenal to better compete in high-profile away games. Whilst Anfield and the Etihad are out of the way, more important tests are yet to come. Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Tottenham Hotspur stadium remain in store. It will be during these outings that Gunners fans will hope for Partey to prove the difference.

In the meantime, Partey needs to adjust to life in north London – To learn the systems which Mikel Arteta wants to implement and any changes to the role he had previously been accustomed to at Atletico Madrid

The first test

The Arsenal faithful look set to enjoy their first proper look at Partey in the club’s colours on Thursday night, though.

The Gunners travel to Vienna to face Rapid Wien in what looks likely to come as their toughest fixture of a group including Irish outfit Dundalk and Norwegian side Molde.

It has been revealed that Thomas Partey has travelled with Arteta’s squad to Austria, and could be in line for his first start at the club:

The return of Shkodran Mustafi is also a boost. Following the injury picked up by Rob Holding during the warm-up against Manchester City, Arsenal had only Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz available. William Saliba was not included in the club’s Europa squad, along with Sokratis. Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers, meanwhile, are still out injured.

With Premier League games against Leicester City and Manchester United to come, rotation would have been expected for Arsenal. However, the inclusion of Partey will act more as a taster of what is to come.

See also: Mourinho aims jibe at Arsene Wenger over book oversight / Do Spurs now have the league’s best front-3?

Rapid Wien vs Arsenal betting tips: UEFA Europa League preview, predictions & odds


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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